South Africa’s SEZs Drive Economic Growth

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Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Fikile Majola, recently highlighted the importance of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in South Africa’s economic growth. In a meeting with the SEZ Chief Executive Officers’ Forum, Majola emphasized the significance of provincial government support for SEZs to achieve national economic objectives.

SEZs as Instruments for Economic Growth

SEZs have become crucial instruments for South Africa’s economic growth, with those receiving full support from provincial governments showing impressive progress. The [Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone (TASEZ)]( is a prime example. The Gauteng government’s strong backing has enabled it to surpass its initial investment pledge of R4.33 billion by over R200 million. Consequently, suppliers in TASEZ have created 3,098 permanent jobs, a 20% increase from the previous quarter and surpassing the initial projected target of 2,080 jobs.

SEZs in Development

Approximately 15 projects are in various stages of development within different SEZs across South Africa. The majority of these projects are expected to be operational by the end of the 2023/24 fiscal year, adding to the 190 projects already functioning in the 10 designated SEZs. The East London Industrial Development Zone and the [Coega SEZ]( have become vital pillars of the South African economy, fostering concentrated manufacturing activities and job creation.

Newly Designated Namakwa SEZ

The Deputy Minister praised the newly designated Namakwa SEZ in the Northern Cape as a game-changer. Deputy Minister Nomalungelo Gina addressed the session, urging SEZ CEOs to carefully handle investments and avoid frustrating investors with regulatory delays or slow processes.

Success of SEZ Programme

Gina highlighted the SEZ Programme’s success in attracting significant numbers and value of investments, with the introduction of incentives to lure investors. The increase in operational investors within SEZs has led to a growing investment pipeline, reflecting the overall impact of SEZs on the South African economy.

Atlantis SEZ Commendation

The Atlantis SEZ received special commendation for its readiness to begin the construction of a 22-hectare Zone 1, funded by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (dtic). Gina expressed contentment that the SEZ is poised to become a strategic focus for green technology industries, as it has always aimed to position itself.

Cumulative Value of SEZ-Based Operational Investments

Between the third and fourth quarters of 2022/23, the estimated cumulative rand value of SEZ-based operational investments has grown from R26 billion to R28 billion. Similarly, the number of direct jobs created during the same period has increased by 896 jobs, from 23,281 to 24,177.

SEZs as Key to South Africa’s Ongoing Development

SEZs play a vital role in South Africa’s economic landscape, driving growth and job creation across various sectors. With continued support from provincial governments and strategic planning, SEZs will remain key to the nation’s ongoing development and progress.

A Russian-Spanish journalist and Cape Town native, channels his lifelong passion for South Africa into captivating stories for his local blog. With a diverse background and 50 years of rich experiences, Serjio's unique voice resonates with readers seeking to explore Cape Town's vibrant culture. His love for the city shines through in every piece, making Serjio the go-to source for the latest in South African adventures.

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